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Equine Obituary - SpiceOLife Present Tense GCH

The Passing Of A Legend

SpiceOLife Present Tense GCH

His epic 2014 Park Harness World Championship performance is forever etched into the memory of all who witnessed it. SpiceOLife Present Tense GCH and Diane Conrady shared their final spotlight drive to cap a storybook career for the mighty chestnut stallion and his lifelong trainer. A mere six months later on April 11, 2015, SpiceOLife Present Tense GCH passed away due to complications from colic. 

Foaled on May 6, 2002, he was sired by Arboria Noble Victor out of SpiceOLife Allura B. SpiceOLife Present Tense GCH, known to all of his friends and fans as DW, was bred by Mary Geisler, owned by David James Walker, and trained throughout his life by Diane Conrady. He was a huge presence in their lives and was truly loved by all who knew him and cared for him. 

DW is only the third horse to win both the Open Park Harness and Open Park Saddle World Championship titles, joining HVK Bell Flaire and Legacy’s Viking. For his trainer, Diane Conrady, it was the pinnacle of career success. For his owner, David Walker, it was affirmation of everything they had worked so hard to achieve. It is rare that a horse is equally talented in both park harness and park saddle but this super stallion proved he could do it all, having won the 2008 Open Park Saddle World Championship with Dianna Rannells in the irons.

Diane Conrady, who loves driving more than any other discipline, still had unfinished business in 2014. DW had won Park Harness Reserve World Championships in 2010 and 2011 but the open world title was still elusive; that is, until last year. After qualifying at the 2014 Jubilee Regional as the undefeated Park Harness Grand Champion with wonderful performances, Diane knew DW was in top form and ready to take another run at the big title. 

Competition in the 2014 world championship was intense, to say the very least. DW had magic in his step that night. Diane still re-lives that class. “It was the best drive I ever had. It could not have gone better. If I was ever to win the open championship, this would be the time.” It was not until the judges called for a final trot that Diane really sensed the victory was in their grasp. She was thinking, “YES! I might really have this!” Her instincts were absolutely correct! SpiceOLife Present Tense GCH was called to the presentation area as the Open Park Harness World Champion, followed by a triumphant victory pass that Diane will remember forever. Taking that last pass down the rail to the cheers and applause of an enthusiastic crowd was a blur at the time but now Diane remembers every step of this career-defining moment. “I’m still at a loss for words. It was magical!” she exclaimed.

“In his lifetime, DW won 6 World Championships and 4 Reserve World Championships. He showed in 70 classes over his career, winning 54 of them with 10 reserves. At the Jubilee where a retirement ceremony was being planned for later this year, he showed 19 times with 18 wins and 1 reserve. But records are one thing; his true legacy lies in the love he had for his fans and friends - he truly belonged to the people and he loved performing for each and every one of them. He energized the crowd just as they did him. Being chosen People’s Choice Horse of Year is one of our most treasured honors for him,” Diane Conrady commented a few months ago.

DW was a crowd favorite throughout his show ring career. His athletic ability, charisma, personality and pedigree also made him the choice of breeders hoping to add all of those characteristics to the next generation. As the spotlight shined for the final time on DW in the show ring in 2014, his influence in the breeding shed was coming to prominence. Already the sire show ring stars including three-time World Champion Arboria Arion GCH, Arboria Awesome Again, Archangel, UVM Sentinel and Little Black Dress; DW had a banner crop of foals in 2013 and 2014 with many breeding back.

Intense, owned by Roxanne Sardelli Greenway, earned the 2014 Morgan Weanling Gala Championship along with Best Performance in Show at Jubilee under the direction of John Hufferd. Miss Velvet Brown won the Jubilee Futurity Weanling Fillies Championship led by Diane Conrady for Bruce Hall, and Fantasize won the Jubilee Futurity Colts/Gelding Championship, owned by Dennis and Cletus Yoder, also under the direction of John Hufferd. Fantasize was recently purchased by Anthony P. Alagna, Scott Zeron and Tangie Pait, and will be showing this year under the Diane Conrady Stables banner. DW’s get are inheriting his big heart, strong work ethic and bright personality – traits that play a significant role in show ring performance. 

“We take comfort in knowing that he left his stamp on the Morgan breed and will continue to do so through his offspring. We know that he touched many lives and they are better for it; we know that we are. While we are devastated by DW’s passing, we are looking forward to his offspring gracing the show ring for years to come. 

“We appreciate everyone’s thoughts and prayers during this difficult time, made even more difficult by the recent passing of DW’s sire, Arboria Noble Victor. We would love to have copies of any candid pictures that anyone has of DW. You can send them to Thank you to everyone who has already reached out and expressed their sympathies and support. We will get through this and will honor his memory for years to come,” Diane Conrady added.

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